The Glenn Dyer breakdown: The Games are over and tonight it’s back to reality and the great annual network’s Spring rush towards the end of the year. But for Ten, the early signs are not good.

Last night saw a disaster in the making emerge with the debut of Ten’s new show, Everybody Dance Now. Not too many viewers responded to that command. In fact it failed to engage viewers and bombed, even allowing for the Games wrapping up on Nine. Everybody Dance Now averaged just 598,000 people over two hours from 7.30pm and around 775,000 nationally.

Ten’s spinners pointed out the program averaged 665,000 in “its first half hour”. Why that was highlighted is beyond me because it shows there was a big tune out over the remaining 90 minutes of the program. Likewise by informing us the program peaked at 928,000 viewers is also beyond me, apart from a desperate sell to viewers and advertisers. Peak audiences are measured for one to five minutes and don’t include ad breaks if possible. That the program average was well under the peak also tells us the target audience didn’t really want to stay and watch it.

Ten also said it was second in 18 to 39s and 18 to 49’s “ahead of the Seven Network”. That wasn’t quite the case, it wasn’t as popular with female viewers in the 16 to 39 and 18 to 49 groups and they are the core target audience. Once Upon a Time on Seven did better. It pushed Ten into 4th overall and in the main channels. For host Sarah Murdoch it wasn’t a strong vehicle to return to prime time Free To Air TV. Ten will argue that the Games were on Nine, but the Games attracted a smaller audience than on previous nights and failed to top the most watched list (that was very apparent in regional markets).

Games update: the short message is that Australian TV viewers ignored the media and online moaning about Australia’s “poor” performance at the London games, and continued watching. In fact, audiences for much of last week on Nine were higher than for Seven in the most comparable games, the 2004 effort in Athens. From Tuesday onwards, the audiences lifted and on Thursday night they even topped the Beijing average for the same night.

Last night the audience in prime time averaged 1.388 million metro viewers, more than 380,000 above than Athens on the last night. The national audience was 1.977 million for the near six hours of broadcasting. The sold final nights of Nine’s broadcast tells us that viewers tuned out of what was being written in newspapers and moaned about on social media (much of which was valid, though) and watched and watched athletes perform. early all were from other countries, even though there were numerous finals that didn’t contain Australians. In some cases Australians were well beaten, but the audiences hung on. The yachting, where we did best, was hardly covered by Nine, except towards the end.

The performances of Usain Bolt and all the other champions (including Sally Pearson) drew and held viewers, despite the best attempts by Nine at times to ruin the spectacle. Viewers had an alternative if they were also holders of Foxtel sports packages, of they wanted to watch in more depth. Nine had average audiences in the 1.9 to 2.6 million range across the country. Add in the average Foxtel audiences (perhaps 400,000 to 500,000 a night, we can’t tell because of Foxtel’s immaturity in not releasing figures every day), and you get total viewing figures nationally on some nights close to and above 3 million people.

Tonight: Seven has The Amazing Race Australia from 7.30pm followed by the final episode of Once Upon a Time. Ten has MasterChef All Stars and the second episode of Everybody Dance Now. Nine though starts with a bang — the gamble at 7pm is Big Brother. Then at 8.30pm is the start of this year’s Underbelly. For those who missed it, the Games closing ceremony is repeated from 9.30pm. The ABC has its usual four hours and more of news and current affairs. The ABC to beat Ten for a second successive night?

Last week: Nine of course won on metro and regional markets with the second week of the London games. Foxtel did very well, as well.

The top 10 national programs (metro & regional combined): For the first time, the last night of the London Games saw Nine’s coverage fail to get the top two places in the night’s viewing.

  1. Nine News — 2.434 million
  2. Sunday Night (Seven) — 2.121 million.
  3. The Olympic Games (early evening) (Nine) — 2.097 million
  4. Seven News — 2.093 million
  5. The Olympic Games (evening) (Nine) — 1.858 million
  6. Grand Designs Revisited (ABC) — 1.388 million
  7. Once Upon a Time (Seven) — 1.344 million
  8. Dream Build (ABC ) — 1.187 million
  9. ABC News — 1.099 million
  10. Miss Marple (ABC 1) — 1.056 million

The Metro Winners:

  1. Nine News (6pm) — 1.685 million
  2. Seven News (6pm) — 1.460 million.
  3. The Olympic Games (early evening) (Nine) (6.30pm) — 1.457 million
  4. Sunday Night (Seven) (6.30pm) — 1.420 million
  5. The Olympic Games (evening) (Nine) (8.30pm) — 1.307 million

The Losers: Ten’s Everybody Dance Now, even without the games on Nine, would have been flat. We have seen it all before and it doesn’t work in Australia.

Metro News & CA:

  1. Nine News (6pm) — 1.685 million
  2. Seven News (6pm) — 1.460 million.
  3. Sunday Night (Seven) (6.30pm) — 1.420 million
  4. ABC News (7pm) — 784,00
  5. Ten News (5pm) — 497,000
  6. The Project (Ten) (6pm) — 384,000
  7. SBS News (6.30pm) — 192,000
  8. The Bolt Report (Ten) (4.30pm) — 125,000

In the morning: Weekend Today on Sunday was pre-empted by the Games yesterday.

  1. Weekend Sunrise (Seven) (8am) — 300,000
  2. Landline (ABC) (Noon) — 267,000
  3. Insiders (ABC) (9am) — 189,000
  4. Offsiders (ABC) (10.30am) — 143,000
  5. The Bolt Report (Ten) (10am) — 139,000
  6. Inside Business (ABC) (10am) — 129.000
  7. Meet the Press (Ten) (10.30am) — 117,000

*On News 24 simulcast

Metro FTA: Nine (3 channels) won with a share of 34.8% (the lowest of the Games), from Seven (3) on 25.4%, the ABC (4) was on 17.8%, Ten (3) ended on 16.8% and SBS (2) was on 5.2%. Main Channels: Nine won with a share of 31.0% from Seven on 18.9%, ABC 1 was on 14.3% Ten was on 11.9% and SBS ONE was on 4.6.

Metro Digital: 7TWO won the night with 3.9%, from GO on 3.7%, ONE was on 2.9%, 7mate, 2.6%, ABC 2, 2.3%, Eleven, 2.1%, ABC 3, 0.7%, SBS TWO, 0.6%, News 24, 0.5% and Gem ended with just 0.1%. The 10 digital channels FTA share last night was a low 19.4%.

Metro including Pay TV: Nine (3 channels) won with a share of 27.3% (the lowest of the Games), from Seven (3) on 20.0%, the ABC (4) was on 14.0%, Ten (3) ended on 13.2% and SBS (2) was on 4.1%. Pay TV with its 200 plus channels ended with a share of 19.2%, boosted for a final time by the 8 games channels, plus the NRL and AFL.

The top five pay TV channels were:

  1. Other Subscription Channels (20.4%)
  2. Fox Footy (3.7%)
  3. Fox 8 (3.0%)
  4. TV1 (2.0%)
  5. LifeStyle (1.5%)

Regional: WIN/NBN (3) won with 34.3% (the lowest of the games), from Prime/7Qld (3) on 28.3%, the ABC (4) was on 16.8%, SC Ten (3) ended on 15.0% and SBS (2) was on 5.0%. WIN/NBN won the main channels with 30.5%, from Prime/7Qld  on 19.2%. ABC 1 was on 13.3% in third, SC Ten was 4th with 8.9%. The digitals saw 7TWO win with 6.2%, from ONE on 4.1% and GO on 3.7%. The 10 digital channels had an FTA share last night of 23.8%.

The five most-watched programs in regional markets were:

  1. Nine News — 753,000
  2. Sunday Night — 700,000
  3. The Olympic Games (evening) — 640,000
  4. Seven News — 635,000
  5. The Olympic Games (early evening) (Nine) — 553,000

Major Metro Markets: A clean sweep for Nine overall and the main channels, while seven was second everywhere. But the ABC and ABC 1 were third overall and in the main channels in every market bar Adelaide where Ten managed to hang on. A dismal result for Ten. In the digitals, GO won Sydney and Perth., 7TWO won the rest.

(All shares on the basis of combined overnight 6pm to midnight All People)

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports